That Shooting In Texas

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

By now, if you haven’t seen the video of the would-be robber of a taqueria and it’s customers getting shot, you are in the minority. When I first saw it, I implemented the 48-hour rule as I wanted to see what else came out. It’s now well past 48-hours, so here goes.

One of the best analyses I’ve seen is here at the always excellent Legal Insurrection. If they are not a daily read, they should be. In this case, the author of the post is a noted legal expert on use of force/deadly force/etc. For all I would love to see Guy Relford break this down for Indiana law, the article is an excellent breakdown that actually cites some of the relevant Texas law. It is well worth the read, and should provide a lot of good food for thought.

Now, some personal takes and experience on the shooting.

On many levels, this is a FAFO moment and a fitting fate for a career violent felon. For all that I can understand, and even sympathize a bit with the shooter, for me it crossed a line. And I say that as someone who has been shot at by someone committing a crime and who also accidentally broke up an armed robbery that also featured a perp with what turned out to be a fake pistol. Circumstances matter. If this had been in a period of violence or other breakdown of authority (given crime and soft prosecutors, you could make that argument IMO), I’d frankly be inlined to give it a pass.

But, it wasn’t and I agree with the author of the linked post a good bit. The first group of four shots was righteous. The second group was, for me, iffy. Given all, would be very inclined to give benefit of the doubt. The last shot was a kill shot, and probably superfluous. It is that shot that is likely to see the shooter indicted and convicted. Politically, very wise to convene a grand jury (though those are easy to rig) to do any indicting. That said, even if indicted the shooter has a fair chance given this happened in Texas. Will see what happens.

Now, for some of the handwringing I’ve been seeing online.

First, there is no law that requires you to only shoot someone in the front. To think otherwise is to engage in romantic ignorance void of reality. Whether in your own defense, but particularly in the defense of others, the safety of those others is of paramount importance. To use deadly force in that situation requires you to think about and act in accordance with trying to maximize their safety, not minimize it. The shooter showed good thinking with his actions, as he waited until the armed robber was not observing him and further that his gun was not pointed at any of the other victims. That the gunman waited until he had a green board says some good things about him. In fact, I hope they mitigate things.

Second, the claim that because he was turned away and headed towards the door made it an unrighteous shoot. Bullshit. You have no idea what that person is going to do next. They might run, they might decide to kill everyone they can, the fact is you don’t know and you have to expect the worst. If you don’t get that, ask the ghosts of all those killed simply to eliminate witnesses even after they’ve handed over the till, safe, jewels, etc. without a fight. You have to assume the worst, hope for the best, and act without a lot of time for introspective thought. Whatever happens, a lot of people who find themselves in that situation will second-guess themselves for years to come with what-ifs.

Third, it was an unrighteous shoot because the gun was a fake. Oh, save me. First hand experience: an evening of visiting various, er, cultural establishments in Columbus, Georgia resulted in a need to refuel my friend’s car and for me to offload. Long story short, I broke up an armed robbery. Even as things started to unfold, a part of me noted that something was odd with the perp’s gun. Turns out, after some chaos, shooting and a very brief chase by me, it was eventually discovered that it was a toy. Problem is, in the few brief seconds of time you have, you need to be acting, not thinking. Go with real gun, it’s safer for you and others. Also, keep in mind that it can be a thing to put orange tape or other devices on real guns to make people think they are toys. Deal with the situation as it appears and sort things out later when there is time.

All you can do is the best you can do. Take a gun law course in your state from someone who knows what they are doing. Don’t just practice, get training and even advanced training if you are going to carry. Know the law, know the tactics, and most of all, know yourself. Spend some time thinking about how you will deal with things if you do have to shoot, especially knowing that everyone from the prosecutor onto the keyboard warriors and the screaming gibbons of corporate media are going to paint you as a murderous psychotic no matter what. Think about it, figure ways to cope, and prepare as best you can. It’s never enough, but a start helps in the long run.

33 thoughts on “That Shooting In Texas”

  1. From a legal standpoint, I agree 100% with your analysis.

    From a personal standpoint, I found the final few rounds highly satisfying and if I wrote the laws not only would this guy get a commendation, the city would present the taqueria’s owner with the goblin’s bleached skull to be used as a counter display.

  2. Having watched it several times, the last last shot was clearly not planned – he’s reaching for the perp’s (fake) gun, and jumps with the shot. That tells me either A) the thought the perp was trying something and shot again (certainly, that defense has worked for police officers in FAR FAR FAR FAR worse cases than this!) or B) it was an accidental discharge.

    He’s likely to be put through the wringer by that particular prosecutor, even just for the first 4 *completely*-legit shots, so it likely changes nothing on that front, but it might work for the jury.

    1. Agreed that the final shot looks either accidental discharge (my top inclination) or criminal moved again and got shot again.

      1. A clarification on terminology:

        – an accidental discharge occurs due to some sort of mechanical problem with the gun. I’ve seen it happen twice with belt-fed guns (runaway gun) due to worn sears, and had something similar happen to me with a semi-auto shotgun – wear in the firing mechanism led to firing multiple rounds from one trigger pull.

        – a negligent discharge occurs due to operator error. Usually involving having one’s booger hook on the bang switch when you shouldn’t.

        In this case, if he truly didn’t intend to fire that last shot, I’d say negligent discharge is more likely.

  3. It is too bad this did not happen in Idaho. Look up Idaho Code 19-4009. Here is the first part, “18-4009. JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE BY ANY PERSON. (1) Homicide is justifiable when committed by any person in any of the following cases:
    (a) When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person;”
    Notice that all is required is that they were committing a felony and you stopped them. You can look up the rest but there is no stipulation on how you killed them at all.
    A side note, here is why there were NO riots in Idaho in 2020 or at any other time, “(b) When committed in defense of habitation, a place of business or employment, occupied vehicle, property or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation, place of business or employment or occupied vehicle of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein;”

    1. The law in Texas isn’t all that different. The problem is that shooting the guy 9 times isn’t ONE use of force, but 9. Each of which has to be separately justified.

  4. Have they identified the patron who shot the goblin?
    If they’d have asked me I’d have told them, “I have no idea who that was.”
    The best thing he did was to leave the scene after the shooting.
    If the cops don’t know you they can’t arrest you.

    1. Leaving can be a sign of guilty conscience — a conscience guilty of murder.

      It can also be a sign that you’re afraid that the person had an accomplice, and you’re getting out of Dodge before the Calvary shows up.

  5. I agree on the legal side except I think there is a good argument that the first 4 shots at least began while that customer in the far corner was directly in line with the robber and shooter. Know what’s beyond your target!

    That’s an additional factor that may not look good on our “hero”.

    As you said, this was a textbook example of FAFO, and I shed no tears.

    1. When it comes to situations like this, though, you’re so focused on the danger, it’s impossible to 100% know what’s beyond your target. You have to do the best you can given the circumstances!

      Having said that, I don’t know if Texas is one of those jurisdictions, but it’s entirely possible that, had the perp survived the shooting, and had one of those bullets gone on and killed an innocent bystander, it would be the perp serving time for that stray bullet, and not the defender, for creating a circumstance where that justifiable shooting had to be made in the first place.

  6. I think you’re going to see a lot more of this sort of thing, as things go on.

    One of the points that a lot of the so-called “justice reform” types seem to miss is that once the general public loses faith in the efficacy of everything that happens after they call 911, to include the dissuasive/reform effect of what takes place in the courtrooms of the land… They’re going to start doing things like this deliberately and with a lot more enthusiasm. If the public system doesn’t provide what the public wants, then the public system will be bypassed and something else will take it’s place. Ain’t nothing says we have to keep on keeping on with what ain’t working.

    A lot of folks seem to mistake or misunderstand the entire point of the so-called “justice system”. Some think that it is there to provide “justice”, which is actually a rather nebulous and abstract concept in and of itself. Some think it is there to effectively ensure that the criminal class is protected, such that innocent people mistaken for criminals aren’t punished. News flash, folks: Ain’t any of you right, when you say those things.

    What the whole shoddy, shaky edifice of a justice system is actually there for, in terms of what social mechanism it serves, is to provide behavioral modification to those that commit transgressions against others. Most people don’t want vengeance, per se: They’d be perfectly happy knowing that the criminal who transgressed against them won’t do it again. That’s all they want; most people are willing to leave formless ideas like “justice” to God and the cosmos. All they want is to be left alone, and for any potential criminals to be dissuaded by what happened to the last idiot that trangressed the rules.

    There’s also a basic drive for that “fairness”, although most of us know in our heart of hearts that that there really isn’t such a thing, at least administered by men.

    So… If the cops and the courts aren’t providing behavioral modification to the criminals, what happens then? Why, more and more things like this, with average citizens reflecting on the lawsuit filed against their neighbors who defended themselves, and then doing the math: No living perp, nobody left to sue them for interrupting the course of their criminal career. Shoot, shovel, and shut up.

    That’s precisely what happened in the Ahmaud Arbery case: The cops had been called several times about Mr. Arbery’s activities. The cops told the concerned neighbors that they could do nothing about Mr. Arbery’s prowling the neighborhood because there was no discernible crime. They said they’d have to have evidence of a crime beyond trespass being committed. So, when Mr. Arbery showed up and trespassed again, what happened? Nobody bothered to ask why it happened, defaulting to “racism” for that answer, when the real answer was “ineffective policing”.

    Expect rather more of this, as more and more Soros DA’s get elected. You’re going to see people taking active measures, like killing the criminals and then dragging the bodies off after destroying the videotapes. We’re not headed into some enlightened paradise of self-actuated action here, we’re heading into a nightmare world of vigilante justice, one where people get killed for entirely mistaken reasons, because they just look like they’re criminals or committing crimes.

    Thank all the activists that are engaged in gutting our current imperfect system in the name of unattainable perfection. You won’t like where de-policing takes us, and that’s where we’re headed.

    1. What a truly beautiful explanation of where all this is headed. Too bad most people (including judges and politicians) are too dumb to actually give this the critical analysis it deserves before it’s too late.

  7. Question: If analysis showed perp was fatally wounded with any of the first 4 rounds, would the good guy with a gun face charges any more severe than, say, intentionally desecrating a corpse?

    Can you be charged with attempted murder by shooting at a corpse?

    1. Doubtful that the coroner will be able to say anything except as to which wounds were fatal/potentially fatal if left untreated. Just because you’ve been shot, even shot through the heart, doesn’t mean you are dead yet. The last shot, the only one anyone should be concerned about, was probably fatal–but we should not jump to conclusions without anything but speculation. All we can really say is that one or more shots killed the guy–but not yet which ones.

  8. Andrew Branca is “that guy” at Legal Insurrection, and Mr. B is, indeed, not just an attorney but also a highly experienced expert is how law is applied in situations where people develop bullet holes. He has a few books, notably The Law of Self Defense and The Law of Self Defense Principles, and a youtube channel. If you carry a gun you should have both of his books on your bookshelf and commit the contents to memory and practice. (I would be remiss in not also mentioning Massad Ayoub, who also has very worthwhile books out, plus direct encyclopaedic knowledge of court cases and exactly what one should do, and not do, when the loud noises stop; and in Florida attorney Jon Gutmacher publishes Florida Firearms Law bi-annually; there may be similar books published in other states, but I’m most familiar with Florida. Were I ever to be charged in a shooting I would like to have taken Mr. Branca’s message to heart well prior to the event and have Ayoub sitting at my elbow).

    John Correia runs the Active Self Protection youtube channel and it has thousands of videos on victim / criminal interaction, good, bad, ugly and really ugly, from which a tremendous amount can be learned.To one of your points, Correia stresses “you have to wait your turn to act” – the time to draw your gun and use it is not when Bad Bart is looking at you with gun in hand. Wait for his attention to be elsewehere.Then act and act decisively.

    Which brings me to my next point; one of the things that one hears when discussing these events with those who “have seen the elephant” is “use enough gun.” With the possible exception of Smith & Wesson’s 500 Magnum (a fellow shooter once looked at mine and said of the ammunition “that’s not a cartridge, that’s a shot glass with a bullet in the end” and, no, the 500 is not my daily carry), no handgun can project enough power to guarantee immediate incapacitation, so the old trick of “double your gun’s effectiveness by shooting twice” comes to the fore. IPSC, IDPA, ICORE all use “2 holes” as the scoring standard, so learn how to accurately double-tap and generate controlled pairs no matter the caliber.
    That said, the goal for citizens is “break contact,” not “subdue and apprehend.” In this instance, Bad Bart was between the victims and the exit, so “shoot 2-4 times and run away” wasn’t an immediate option.

    I’m waiting for caliber info on the shooter’s gun, my hunch is “.380 auto.” There is, and will continue to be, endless discussion, on the internet, in gun magazines, and street corners, about “the best caliber for self defense.” Which, actually, is always “the one you have with you.” That said, guns are nothing but “energy conversion and transfer machines,” converting the gunpowder’s stored chemical energy into the kinetic energy of a moving projectile which can then be transferred to the target under the control and direction of the gun operator, whatever that target may be, and the more effectively transferred the better. Again, however, the point for Joe and Jane Citizen is to impart enough physical and/or psychological disruption to their assailant’s focus to allow them to skedaddle many mucho pronto so they can be the first to call 911 (very important point, that) from a safe(r) location (which is why I always wonder what is going on in the minds of people who are out in public in flip-flops…it’s called “The Nike Defense,” aka “run away fast” but only works with real shoes. It will work very well with any brand of reliable shoe, they do not have to be Nikes). That disruption can be achieved with smaller calibers, but, again, the more effectively delivered energy the better to produce a speedier target response.

    In this case, had The Shooter put 4-6 rounds into Bad Bart and sought a position of secure cover, hopefully simultaneously with a rapid reload (specifically, “cover” not “concealment,” although I’m doubtful most fast food restaurant fixtures would offer much more than concealment) from which he could be the all important Very First 911 Caller and from cover Await Further Developments (for example, was Bad Bart a lone wolf or might there have been a surreptitious accomplice nested among the patrons or waiting just outside the door?).

    There’s a lot to take apart and inspect in this one, but your, and Branca’s assessment, are to my mind, both spot on. Wise and dumb stuff frequently travel in a conjoined pair and each often cycles to the top of the stack randomly, to be selected for use as things occur. Which is another reason for not just training, which is beyond important, but educated preparation involving visualization and associated study of employing that training in challenging circumstances. And, practicing that “running away” thing is a good idea, too.

    Sorry about the length, didn’t mean to hijack the blog.


    1. You didn’t, and much appreciated. As always, you provide good information, cogent thought, and a lot of good food for thought. Keep it up. Thanks for this and all your contributions.

  9. If I were in charge, I’d be offering a plea deal that doesn’t take away his rights but does put him on probation for a very long time–perhaps a decade or more. And if possible, require some remedial training.

    Unfortunately, it’s a Soros DA who gets to make that decision. Last I heard, the guy still hasn’t been publicly identified, but his lawyer has been talking to the cops. That’s a positive sign that he understands the situation, then.

  10. The robber was jacked up, pointing his gun wildly and with intent to terrorize the patrons and employees. He succeeded in convincing me he was very dangerous and possibly on drugs. It’s not like the movies, I’m told, where someone immediately fades just because they’ve been shot and are still. You scare me like that and, like you, it’s FAFO time. Just like having a snarling dog come at your child, and all your senses and instincts are to fully eliminate the threat forever. If the gun owner was not a L.E.O., maybe he can be forgiven for not being trained and filled with the fear of losing his job.

  11. Kirk, my own analysis is a bit different. I don’t think I fall into your second group, but I do believe that the whole system from cops to prison guards exists to protect the accused.
    Absent, and prior to, this system, justice is rapidly and emotionally dispensed by the affected individuals and/or the nearby community. Alas, this allows for prejudice, privilege and fear to pollute the process, creating erroneous results.
    Today, Soros DAs, bloc politics, biased media combine with prejudice and privilege, are causing a large amount of erroneous results. Such that many people in some communities are losing faith in the current system, and at some times and circumstances are reverting to the previous one. Which makes good sense, but is a shame.

  12. Charging him with anything save showing up to receive his medal is why the legal profession, and increasingly the law itself, is viewed with the contempt of lost legitimacy.

    1. There was a pharmacist who pulled out a revolver and started shooting at two robbers. One went down, and the other fled. The pharmacist followed No.2 out the door and emptied his gun at the fleeing felon. He then went behind the counter, fetched a second revolver, then walked up the shot robber lying on the floor in his store and fired a point blank shot into the guy’s head. He was–in my view and in view of the law–rightly convicted of murder as there was no then existing fear of great bodily injury or death. It was therefore not self-defense. It was payback.

  13. @Ogregeek,

    I personally don’t disagree with you that the current system exists mostly to protect the innocent accused. The real problem here is that the idjit class that’s running it down by forcing dysfunction on it fails to recognize or comprehend what will wind up replacing it. It won’t be anything superior, that’s for damn sure.

    This is a lot like the situation with the Seattle PD. I’ve got friends and acquaintances that worked for that department; I warned them for years that there was a problem with the way the department was handling race relations and all the other community relations stuff. They swore up and down that there were zero problems, that there was nothing wrong with the department’s community relations. As I warned one of them, they could deny, deny, deny, but one day? One day, they would go home and everything would be as it always was; the next day, driving in to work, the entire world would be changed around them, and nothing would ever be the same again. I was expecting it to be one of their racist idiots on the other side of the “Thin Blue Line” there in Seattle that’d be the trigger, but it proved to be the Minneapolis PD that did the trick with George Floyd. Most of the people I knew on the force have now taken either early retirement, or they’ve left Seattle and/or policing.

    Same thing is going to happen to the current justice system, once they’ve squandered enough of the public trust. I expect that the FBI is going to start having a lot of trouble prosecuting cases successfully; I’ve already heard one local prosecutor telling a sheriff’s deputy that they will not be prosecuting any cases where the FBI or BATF was involved, because public sentiment has reached the point where those two agencies have become toxic, and any evidence they present will likely result in a mistrial, no matter the merits of the case. That’s how it will begin; it’ll progress to people paying for private retribution with other criminals. I’ve heard rumors that a family member solicited gang members to kill the drunk driver that killed his daughter and grandkids, while the drunk was in the jail. Being as this drunk was a habitual drunken driver, completely unfazed by a lifetime of convictions and “punishments” for driving drunk, it may well be that the only solution to be found was that of “kill the bastard in prison”.

    These are not good things. I don’t advocate for them, in the least. But, I’ve got just enough smarts to recognize likely effects from proximate causes, and this is what I see coming. The system’s social function is to modify the behavior of the criminal classes. If enough of the general public begins to believe that it isn’t working for that purpose…? Yeah. Just like the Internet, the faults will be routed around. Which ain’t going to be a good thing for anyone accused wrongfully of a crime. Hell, it won’t be at all good for those of us on the periphery, either.

  14. What remedial training? He hit the target, nothing wrong with his marksmanship.

    And screw the plea deal and probation. All the customers in that restaurant were put in fear of death or serious bodily harm. That is a textbook justification for using deadly force to defend yourself and others.

    Texas penal law: “Penal Code 9.32 sets out that person can use deadly force when he reasonably believes it is immediately necessary to: protect against another’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force, or to prevent an aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.”

    You will note that it does not say when you must stop using deadly force.

    If some dirtbag is waving a gun around and screaming, I fear for my life and safety.

    1. You MUST stop using deadly force when the circumstances that result in your (or others) being in fear of immediate serious injury or death stop. If the BG is down and not moving, if he has lost possession of his firearm, or if he is fled and running down the street, the privilege of using deadly force ceases, and shots thereafter may constitute murder. So if that dirtbag is NO LONGER waiving his gun around and screaming (or only screaming in pain after having been shot) then you no longer are in fear for your life and must stop your attack. That’s the discussion here. No one disputes that the first few shots (the only versions I have seen do not show the shooting, so I will go with four as stated above) were clearly in defense of self or others. The big issue is whether the last shot to the back of the head was self defense or execution.

  15. “Politically, very wise to convene a grand jury (though those are easy to rig) to do any indicting.”

    I think you will find that in Texas the DA has no choice but to submit this to a Grand Jury. All homicides, even non-suspicious ones, go to the Grand Jury. Remember the shooting at West Freeway Church of Christ when Jack Wilson put a headshot into the murderer across the church? Grand Jury.

  16. ‘for me it crossed a line.’

    You’d be content if the attacker survived to be duly processed, rubber-stamped, and lethally injected by 12 Karens and a Soros DA. You have no objection to killing if it’s State sanctioned. It’s a man delivering clear justice without the laundry through State procedure which pricks your bougie bones.

    1. The State in its sovereign capacity has certain privileges–execution being one–that civilians do not possess. Absent that power–and the power to enforce violations by vigilantes–anarchy reigns. So yeah, there is a very good reason for permitting only state sanctioned executions.

  17. I agree the last shot seemed unnecessary overkill. But it occurs to me that had there not been any surveillance video we wouldn’t be having this conversation because there would be far less clear evidence of what happened. I can’t help thinking that if the taqueria people had failed to hand over the video there’d be a lot of bloviating by the DA but no actual attempt to indict because most people would just assume the bad guy kept moving and therefore being a potential threat. As it is we can see that there was a distinct pause etc. before that final shot.

    It also occurs to me that if DAs continue to let crooks out on the streets to reoffend we can expect to see more cases like this where someone decides that the best way to ensure a particular crook never reoffends is to make sure he is dead. In future however people will learn to make sure that the video evidence disappears

    1. Bingo, and thanks. See yesterday’s post. And thanks for commenting, very much appreciated.

  18. Thank you for all the good comments! Out of 29 comments so far, only one Cherrystone.
    Hope to do a follow-on post tomorrow or Saturday, as some of you are headed towards some key issues. More soon.

Comments are closed.